The Obinitsa Seto Museum House was founded on the initiative of Liidia Sillaots, a local researcher of local lore. In 1995 the permanent exposition introducing the way of life of the Setos of the Obinitsa area in 1920-1940ies was opened. This period was revolutionary for the Seto people who had lived in the Pskov Province, Czarist Russia for centuries. In 1920, this part of the Pskov region was united with Estonia, based on the Tartu Peace Treaty.Large-scale reorganizations took place: land reform, family names were given, Estonian-language churches and schools were opened.
The permanent exposition of the Museum House depicts a Seto house of that time, with its distinct functional corners (nulk): a corner for cooking and working, another for furnace and kitchen utensils, a third corner for sleeping and a holy corner for storing icons. All the indoors taskwork of both men and women, as well as the play-area of children had to be accommodated into this cramped environment. A large part of the house was occupied by a big Russian-type furnace, as well as by a long dining-table, benches, men's tools and women's spinning wheels. The holy corner was a clean and quiet area where children were not allowed to play. Icon was covered with special, decorated icon towel, which was one of the most beautiful pieces of textile in the house.
The textile collecion of the museum includes a large number of pretty and colorful handicraft of the Seto women, ranging from dress ornaments to the tails of head scarves and decorative towel laces. The exposition also includes some unique pieces of bride's clothing.
The Setos have been a hard-working folk: they cultivated fields, grew flax, raised cattle and caught fish. Unfertile land, small households and large families made the Setos search for other sources of subsistence. The Setos selling pottery were well-known all over Estonia. In Küllätüvä, near Obinitsa, there was a brick factory called "Estošamott", which exported its produce to Sweden. The large limekilns of the Tiirhanna village also provided the local people with jobs and food.
In the second part of the first floor you'll find interesting texts and photographs of the ways of life, history and culture of Setomaa.
The museum also houses the Obinitsa Tourist Center where you can buy the pretty local handicraft, as well as postcards, stamps, publications, CDs, DVDs and souvenirs related to Setomaa and Seto culture.
In the kid's corner of the museum you'll find a doll-house - miniature of a Seto dwelling house. The dollhouse has quickly become the favourite for children of all ages. On the second floor there are also different expositions from handicraft to artwork; the handicraft corner allows to organize handicraft courses.
Further information about different services provided by the museum, such as museum guide, handicraft courses, Seto singing etc can be gained from the museum's website, by phone or on the spot.
You can take a look also at http://www.visitestonia.com/en/obinitsa-seto-museum